TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Access to healthcare can be a complicated subject for many, especially for those without insurance. But medical students at University of Toledo Medical Center are helping bridge the gap with their free traveling clinic.
An empty lot on Segur Avenue quickly transforms into a medical clinic every Monday thanks to medical students at the University of Toledo.
"We all believe that the system has cracks and that there are people that are left without healthcare and that are left without access," said Ahmed Daboul, a second-year medical student at he University of Toledo. "It's really important to us that we begin to extend that access to healthcare because we do believe that everybody should be entitled to access to healthcare."
Their Labre Traveling Clinic goes to two sites every week no matter the weather. Medical students have seen everything from heart attacks, to ankle injuries and more. They even have a pharmacy on site.
All of this is completely free to those in need.
"It's good because there are times where my doctor can't get me in as soon as I want," said Sonia Espinosa of Toledo. "I know I can at least come here every Monday to get her (her daughter) checked out."
"I mean, I'm glad that they are here to explain things to you when you don't really understand and they have actually helped me out a lot," said Mary Siders of Toledo.
In addition to the medical clinic, patients can get a hot meal from students with St. John's Jesuit High School and St. Ursula Academy. They actually began Labre Monday's five years ago, this week was their 281st week. They visit three locations and have generally 15 to 20 students.
Clients at the clinic can also get fresh produce to take home from the University Church.
"It's opened up my eyes to the needs of the patients and they certainly appreciate it," Dr. Richard Paat. "They know that every Monday if they need anything we're here for them."
Everyone involved volunteers their time and say they learn a lot and recognize how impactful their future career can be when they come to their patients.
"As future physicians now we are learning the lessons of circumstance and how circumstance affects health and the complexity of that," said Ahmed Daboul. "A patient isn't just a set of symptoms, but a patient is actually a whole story."
UT CommunityCare Clinic's Monday Labre Traveling Clinic meets around 5:30 p.m. near 252 Segur Road and then moves to 464 6th Street around 6:15 p.m.
On Thursdays they have their Main Clinic at CedarCreek Church at 2150 South Byrne Road where doors open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.